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Case No. 19-0904

In the Matter of the Guardianships of J.W. and J.W., Minor Children

C.M., Petitioner-Appellant

Attorney for Appellant

Barry S. Kaplan and C. Aron Vaughn

Attorney for Appellees

S.W., self-represented

L.K., self-represented

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 23, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, James C. Ellefson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Doyle, J., and Mahan, S.J.  Opinion by Bower, C.J.  Dissent by Doyle, J.  (7 pages)


            A grandmother appeals the striking of her demand for a jury trial on her petition to establish involuntary guardianships for her son’s children, who are in the legal custody of their mother.  OPINION HOLDS: Where there is no question that the proposed wards are minors, we find no error in the court’s denial of a jury trial on that issue.  DISSENT ASSERTS: In striking the grandmother’s jury demand, the district court decided that the issue of whether the children’s mother was not a qualified or suitable caregiver was not part of the jury’s determination that a guardianship was required.  Necessity for appointment of a guardian is a jury question.  And whether a parent is a qualified and suitable caregiver is a part of the necessity question.  The district court erroneously struck the jury demand.  I would reverse and remand for a jury trial.  

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